Matt Stephenson

Ph.D. Student
Picture of Matt holding a snake

Working dissertation title: Impacts of prairie strips on nesting birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals.

Co-Advisor: Bob Klaver

Background: Like many of my colleagues, I grew up camping, hiking, and canoeing around Iowa and the United States, which led me to a career in wildlife.  While an undergraduate at Iowa State, I served as a Biological Science Technican for a summer at the Valentine NWR in the Nebraska Sandhills.  After graduating with a B.S. in Animal Ecology (wildlife focus) in 2010, I spent several field seasons working for the Iowa DNR on the Multiple Species Inventory and Monitoring Program (MSIM) doing surveys for birds, herptiles, mammals, odonates, butterflies, bats, and mussels in central Iowa.  I then served as an Iowa DNR AmeriCorps member assisting with the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan as well as many other projects, before beginning my Master's program at Iowa State in the spring 2015.

Research Interests: My background with the MSIM program has led to an interest in a wide variety of taxa, but my research is currently focused on avian nesting density and nest success as well as herptile and small mammal presence and snake population dynamics.

Current Project: I am studying the impact prairie STRIPS have on wildlife, specifically comparing measures of avian nest success and herp/mammal presence in agricultural settings with prairie STRIPS to those without.  I am also validating some newer survey techniques including the use of a thermal imager to find early season nests in sparsely vegetated landscapes and to the use of thermal data loggers to record nest temperatures to allow a reduction in frequency of nest visits.

Personal Interests: I enjoy bird watching, nature photography, travel, camping, hiking, canoeing, and collecting butterflies, moths, and dragonflies.  I also advise a medieval sword fighting club on campus and travel around the Midwest to fighting events several times a year.

Education: B.S. in Animal Ecology (wildlife focus) from ISU, 2010.  Currently pursuing a Master's degree in Wildlife Ecology at Iowa State with expected graduation Fall 2016.

Area of Expertise: 
Wildlife Ecology
Education: 
B.S., Animal Ecology, Iowa State University, 2010
Contact
38 Science II
Ames
IA
50011